Reference : V-P-UG-E-00394
Date : 20/08/2013
Country/Region : UGANDA
Caption : North Uganda, Palabeck Gem Subcounty, Kamama. Sabina Aling (72) sits with other families of missing persons outside Kamama Church.
Photographer : MOORE, Phil
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description :
ICRC website, photo gallery, 28/08/2013

Two of Mrs. Aling's sons, Ochaya Charles--who was 13 years old--and Richard Loum--who was 15 years old--were abducted in 1997 as they were returning home from the family's small agricultural land. She now remains with only two of her sons, and says she has had no news of Ochaya or Richard since the day they disappeared. Mrs. Aling now participates in group sessions where people learn to cope with the grief of this ambiguous loss of family members.

Between 1986 and 2006, up to an estimated 75,000 people were abducted in northern Uganda. In 2013, the fate of several thousands remains unknown; the ICRC estimates that there may be more than 12,000 people still missing. Their families have lived for years with this uncertainty, unable to honour their death, and hanging on to the hope that one day, their family members may return. The emotional distress this has caused has led to many feeling isolated, unable to talk about their situation with other members of the community.

The ICRC launched a holistic programme in Palabek Gem Subcounty identifying, and subsequently bringing together, families of the missing. The ICRC formed support groups for these families and trained "accompaniers" to facilitate discussion on learning how to cope with their grief and finding a way to move forward. This culminated in a remembrance ceremony for the missing in the village of Kamama on August 21, 2013, bringing together over 500 members of the community, to help bring affected families closer to the wider community.

Original material : digital
Resolution : 3891x2589
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour